Large, spacious bathrooms may be considered a luxury, but with clever planning and attention to detail, small bathroom suites can look equally stylish. The bathroom is a space that you use alone most of the time, and beyond a basin, toilet and bath or shower, there isn’t really a need to accommodate much more than these basic items. But how do you get the most from a tiny bathroom and make it appear bigger and brighter? Our top tips uncover all you need to know.
Take your time planning
To ensure a successful small bathroom design project, it’s essential to take your time at the planning stage. A compact bathroom needs to be functional, so consider every possible layout for the toilet, basin and bath/shower, and include a storage unit to keep clutter hidden away. Think about the style of the space too, a clean minimal look is one way to make your compact bathroom appear bigger and brighter.
Keep the floor clear
When floor space is limited, wall-hung fittings such as a basin and toilet provide a fantastic way to create the illusion of a bigger bathroom.
A wall-hung toilet and basin will look like they are floating above the floor, which enhances a sense of space and creates a stylish, modern look. The space underneath the basin can be used to store spare towels or loo roll in a wicker basket.
With a wall-hung toilet, the cistern and pipework are concealed in the wall behind, which creates a much neater and more streamlined finish to your compact bathroom.
Choose a compact bathroom suite
Compact bathroom suites have been specially designed to help make the most of a small space. They usually include a matching basin, toilet and a bath with smaller dimensions that standard.
Some bathroom suites for small bathrooms are supplied with the taps, but make sure to check which essential items you need before buying and include them in your budget. The advantage of buying a complete bathroom suite package is that it ensures a coordinated look, and you can save money compared to buying individual items too, which is great if you’re on a budget.
Bathroom suites for small rooms are available in a range of styles including modern and traditional to suit any taste. If you’re in need of somewhere to store toiletries, then opt for a suite with a vanity unit rather than a basin, so you don’t need to find extra space for storage.
You may think there’s not enough room for any storage in your small bathroom suite, but there’s actually some clever compact solutions that will maximise the available space.
Hiding clutter is one of the easiest ways to make your compact bathroom appear bigger and brighter. Lotions and potions cluttering up surfaces will only make a small space feel more cramped, and your bathroom won’t give off that relaxing vibe you long for either.
Vanity units are a stylish and practical option for small bathrooms as they combine a basin and storage into one space saving unit. They come in floor mounted and wall hung designs, as well as an array of sizes and designs. Fitting a vanity unit means you don’t need to find room to install a separate storage unit and basin.
You could also fit a mirrored cabinet above the sink to keep your bathroom essentials neat and tidy, and close to hand. Shelving is ideal too, you could create a pretty display with decorative ornaments, candles or perfume.
Frameless shower enclosures and wet room glass screens are a great option for small bathroom suites. Minimal framework helps to create a streamlined space that looks brighter and bigger. When choosing a shower door or glass screen, make sure to check the thickness of the glass, as this is a good indicator of the quality.
Tanking or waterproofing a small bathroom to create a wet room can give you more flexibility with the layout. All that’s needed to separate the basin from the shower is a sleek wet room glass screen, and you don’t even need to fit a shower tray as the water drains away through the floor.
If you don’t have the budget to tank the entire room, another option that works just as well is to fit a slimline shower tray with a glass screen instead – you can still get the look but with less effort. Measuring as little as 30mm high, low profile shower trays are perfect for creating a clean, contemporary look in a small bathroom. For a totally seamless finish, choose a slimline shower tray that can be slightly recessed into the floor.
Be clever with the lighting
The lighting may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to designing your small bathroom, but with a little thought and planning, it can really make all the difference.
A clever lighting scheme can give the illusion of a bigger bathroom and transform the look and feel of the space. Combine task lighting and feature lighting, for example spotlights in the ceiling will illuminate the entire space, and lights over the basin area will provide illumination for applying make-up or the morning shave. Consider fitting a dimmer switch so you can easily change the ambience of the bathroom.
White and bright
White metro tiles in a small bathroom will keep the space looking bright and super stylish. Metro tiles are a classic and space enhancing option, and look great when used with grey grout. For maximum impact, keep the rest of the bathroom simple and unadorned.
If you’re worried a white bathroom scheme could look cold and uninviting, you could introduce colour with accessories, towels and bath mats.
Use the corner
In a small bathroom you need to make every bit of space count, and one area that’s often under utilised is the corner.
There are actually many bathroom fixtures available that have been specially designed to make use of this space that usually goes to waste. Corner shower enclosures, corner vanity units/basins and corner toilets will fit neatly into the corner of your bathroom to maximise space.